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New MFA program in Social Innovation Seeks to Create Social Entrepreneurs

These days, it’s a tough decision to go to graduate school: with unemployment still near nine percent and the prospect of a lifetime paying off student debt, many young people…

Allan Chochinov on Negotiating Problem Spaces through Design

Once upon a time, to be a designer meant that you made things—chairs, for example—and, in some cases, that you were focused on the needs of the wealthy, who could…

Stories of Innovation and Hope in the Motor City

Margarita Barry, a 26-year-old Detroit native, was tired of hearing nothing but dismal news coming out of her city. In response she developed I Am Young Detroit, a blog that…

In Ohio, ESOP Pilots A Fresh Approach to Mortgage Modification

In 2010, when Antonio Martin, a 36-year-old husband and father of three who lives in a suburb of Cleveland, was laid off from his job at a Verizon retail store,…

Meditating Behind Bars: Why Yoga In Prisons May Mitigate Recidivism

Earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled that California prisons were in such bad shape they violated the 8th amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment. The reason? Overcrowding. California must…

U.S. Cities Launch Benchmarking Program To Make Buildings More Energy-Efficient

Humans are an increasingly urbanized species; for the first time in history, more people live in cities than in rural areas. And that, of course, means more buildings, which means…

Opinion: Will Occupy Lead to Policy Change?

Due to the onset of winter and police crackdowns on encampments, Occupy movements in many cities have retreated from their initial tactics of long term public occupations. In this time…

A Design Curriculum Combats The Creativity Crisis In Public Schools

We all remember times when school felt completely useless and abstract – for me, it was in chemistry class, a subject I thought would never apply to my life or…

Social Enterprise Bootcamp in Seven Steps

Directed at budding social entrepreneurs, Social Enterprise Bootcamp, a recent two day workshop organized by students at Columbia, NYU and the School of Visual Arts, offered practical advice from an…

Can’t Pay? Don’t Pay! Or, Become An Edu-Punk: Some Solutions To The Problem Of Student Debt

Chances are, if you have a college or postgraduate degree, you also have student loans to pay back. Nationwide, Americans have around $1 trillion in education debt; each year, the…

Sector Agnosticism Animates Bipartisan DC Conversation

One of the toughest challenges we face in solving social problems is that the three sectors of society—government, business and the citizen sector—do not have strong bridges that connect one…

Bill Moggridge On Socially-Responsible Design, Connectivity, And Globalization

Bill Moggridge has pioneered evolutions in design by responding to the quick global transformations in communications technology. He founded the design and business consulting firm IDEO, which is piloting an…

Amplify Brooklyn: Designing A Sustainable Economy At The Community Level

The concept of “wicked problems” refers to issues that are considered near impossible to solve because of complex interdependencies within a system; only discrete and context-specific interventions can be applied…

Economics And The Environment: Why Oregon Plans To Go Coal-free

Past the debate around Solyndra and tension around how, exactly, government should support green tech, another energy story is emerging. The combination of new emissions regulations and cheaper alternative energy…

Occupy the Web: Votocracy and AmericansElect seek to reshape election 2012

The 2012 presidential election is over a year away, and tensions are already running high. A recent Gallup poll shows President Obama’s approval ratings to be the lowest in his…